What to do when wife isn't Catholic


#1

I have been married for 2 years and my wife refuses to get off of “the pill”.

My wife knows how the Church and I feel about the use of birth control in our marriage, however she sees nothing wrong with it. She is Methodist by the way. I have brought the topic up on numerous occasions and, it usually gets a little heated. See my wife resents the fact that my beliefs have changed to some extent. About 2 years ago right after meeting my wife I converted to Catholicism. It was something that I felt very strongly about and I didn’t include her in it at all. It was something that I wanted to do for myself. I am not proud of it, but my wife and I had relations before we were married and I did not object to the use of artificial birth control then. Mainly because I didn’t understand the Church’s teaching on it. What I want to know is when have I done everything I can to try and teach her about why it’s wrong. Of course I pray about it often. Remember anytime I bring it up she kind of shuts down. I am almost positive it would be wrong for me to tell her that I don’t want to have relations with her until she gets off of it, right? Am I committing a sin or doing anything wrong here by having relations with her while she is on artificial birth control.


#2

To the best of my knowlege, there is no sin in having marital relations with your wife while she is taking the pill, though you may have some difficulty in your knowlege of the abortive properties, as well as the numerous health risks involved. That’s such a tough one, even when both are Catholic, I can only imagine the difficulty in a mixed-marriage.

Since nearly all Catholics I know that take the pill justify it’s use for 'medical reasons’http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif, ‘believing’ it’s the only treatment for their particular malady, may not be fulfilling all three of the conditions making an act a mortal sin. By the same token, good-old invincible ignorance may eliminate the mortal component of sinfulness for both Catholic and non-Catholic pill takers, alike.

'Bout all you can do is pray for her, and maybe make some excuses for avoiding the marital act when you think she’s fertile. To the best of your ability, practice NFP, if you will. That could serve to make the pill use moot. That assumes you have a good general knowlege of NFP and her cycle.

From the Ask Father Question Box titled ‘Please Stop Taking The Pill’ and ‘Husband Forcing Me to Stop?’


#3

I’m so sorry that you are having this difficult struggle. This has been a tough issue in my marriage. When I consulted a priest about this issue, he advised me that to use contraceptives would be a mortal sin. That made it pretty clear to me that I would have to make a stand. My husband sometimes suggests that he will get a vasectomy. I hope not, but if he does, I will continue to practice NFP. I think you may have to abstain from intercourse while your wife contracepts. In any case, refrain from Holy Communion if you are using contraception.

My husband (who is a wonderful man) complains that I changed all the rules on him. I tell him that the rules (no contraception) were there all the time, I was just ignorant. Now that I have light, I have to be obedient. This is a great suffering (the contention) in our marriage, so I have offered it up in reparation for all the unchasity in my past.

Make sure that you turn on the acts of service, quality time, non sexual touching, and gift giving, so your wife still feels loved even if you are not having sex.

I will pray for you and your wife if you will pray for myself and my husband. God bless


#4

What about Kimerly Hahn’s book, Life giving Love? That is a fantastic book and it not only explains it, but from a protestant view until she understood the teaching. It also goes into many other people and their understanding and experiences both using and not using BC. It is such a beautiful book, it is worth a try.

HTH,
I will pray for you both,


#5

Have you told her how much you love her and how you fear the side affects could harm her health? I’d be touched if my husband approached it that way. --KCT


#6

Very sorry about your unyoked marriage. I’m in a similiar situation except that my wife is a cradle Catholic but not practicing. I reverted about 5 years ago and my wife has had great difficulty with it. Whereas once our values were in line, they now are in opposition concerning the culture hot-button issues (abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research). We almost split up about six months ago over these very issues but somehow we have found a way to stay together and things have gone better in recent months (but it’s still a struggle and it still is tough). I pray for her every day and that is my number one advice: Pray, Pray and pray more! Try to have a calm and respectful discussion about your differences and try to gently explain to her why you believe that contraception is wrong. Above all respect her and try to love her the best way you can - you’ll find your way through these struggles.


#7

You will be in my prayers, especially since my situation is similar, save that as the wife, I am the one personally choosing artificial birth control or not. I am no longer using it, since I learned through my own studies about the risks, and that there is no way to reconcile artificial birth control with a belief that life begins at conception. I am at the moment struggling to explain to my husband my reasons for converting (I’m in RCIA currently), but he is actually grateful I am no longer on the pill, regardless of my reasons. I think that you might try just being patient with her, perhaps presenting her with information about what the pill actually does, but most of all simply love her and pray for her. You are not responsible for her choice if you have tried to explain your convictinos to her; at least I don’t think so. I know that when I was taking the pill against my husband’s desires, I made the decision for myself, knowing his objections, and had to come to my own conclusions and convictions before changing my mind. My husband is now happy he patiently waited for me, and i know you will be too.


#8

[quote=cargopilot]To the best of my knowlege, there is no sin in having marital relations with your wife while she is taking the pill, though you may have some difficulty in your knowlege of the abortive properties, as well as the numerous health risks involved. That’s such a tough one, even when both are Catholic, I can only imagine the difficulty in a mixed-marriage.

Since nearly all Catholics I know that take the pill justify it’s use for 'medical reasons’http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif, ‘believing’ it’s the only treatment for their particular malady, may not be fulfilling all three of the conditions making an act a mortal sin. By the same token, good-old invincible ignorance may eliminate the mortal component of sinfulness for both Catholic and non-Catholic pill takers, alike.

'Bout all you can do is pray for her, and maybe make some excuses for avoiding the marital act when you think she’s fertile. To the best of your ability, practice NFP, if you will. That could serve to make the pill use moot. That assumes you have a good general knowlege of NFP and her cycle.

From the Ask Father Question Box titled ‘Please Stop Taking The Pill’ and ‘Husband Forcing Me to Stop?’
[/quote]

NFP can’t really be practiced while the woman is on the pill because the chemicals in the pill mask and distort any signs that could be used.


#9

[quote=JMJ Theresa]I. I think you may have to abstain from intercourse while your wife contracepts. In any case, refrain from Holy Communion if you are using contraception.

[/quote]

If he is not the one using contraception (as in a condom or whatever other mens that a male can contracept) he does not have to refrain from communion because he is only held accountable for his sins not the sins of his wife. He is also not required to abstain from relations as long as he has not played any part in encouraging his wife to contracept. He has made it clear to her it is wrong, so again it is her sin not his.

This question has been asked in the Apologist forum in one way or another several time and it has been stated so long as the spouse in no way condones or encourages his wife/ her husband to contracept the non contracepting spouse is not commiting sin by engaging in marital relations.


#10

I know there are differing opinions on this–abstaining when your spouse contracepts. Believe me, I’ve prayed and studied very much on this issue. However, I believe that if your wife is contracepting, then you both are contracepting. If it is an intrinsic evil (the act) then how can you not bear some of the sin?Ironically, if the spouse is ignorant, but you are not–you have the responsibility to avoid the sin. You get the consequences of the sin. However, in this case–the sacramental act of marriage–both you and your marriage will suffer. Sex is not essential for life. I
know that it is easier to be a woman in this situation because the woman can simply refrain from intercourse when she is fertile.

I am not sure that in our modern society we are trully aware of the gravity of this sin–contraception.

As far as going to Holy Communion, I can’t judge another’s heart; however, in the case of this very serious sin, I believe it would be better to err on the side of caution.

I am still praying!!! :slight_smile:


#11

I agree that the best thing for you to do is to be patient and pray. Drop the subject and don’t try to talk about it, if you have already stated your case before and you say she shuts down when you do. So you are getting nowhere that way. Just love her the best you can. Books might be a good way to get through to her. This has seemed to work for me with my non-Catholic husband, better than trying to talk. The Kimberly Hahn book is a good idea, also the cd by Janet Smith, “Contraception, Why Not?” is excellent.


#12

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